Manufacturing IT Support Helps Companies Incorporate IoT Technologies

When Forbes recently came out with an article on the top tech trends for 2017, the Internet of Things (IoT Technologies) showed up multiple times on the list. The IoT Technologies refers to networks of Internet-enabled or smart devices that can communicate with each other and possibly gather information from their environment.

IoT technologies are already shaping a wide range of industries, along with different elements of private life. Manufacturing enterprises are undergoing exciting transformations because of these Internet-connected devices which lends to an increase in Manufacturing IT support.

Sensors and Manufacturing Enterprises

One example of the role IoT devices and software play in manufacturing is the use of smart sensors. Manufacturing enterprises can use these sensors for a range of purposes, including the following:

  • Detecting fuel levels and automatically adjusting them when needed.
  • Measuring environmental conditions such as temperature and humidity, and signaling that adjustments are necessary each time they fall outside of certain parameters.
  • Finding errors in the production process and initiating the relevant corrections.
  • Picking up on signs that a machine may be failing and scheduling a repair when this is possibly the case.

IoT devices can function largely on their own, requiring only minimal human interference. They can gather and conduct analyses on all kinds of data, potentially deepening insights on how to improve manufacturing operations and other business areas. Through their use, manufacturing can become more precise and efficient, with less waste and improved productivity, ultimately saving companies money.

What role can manufacturing IT support play in IoT technologies usage?

Although smart devices may offer companies tremendous benefits, they also pose serious challenges that manufacturing IT support personnel can help with.

Top 3 issues to consider:

  1. Their function in your network. You’ll need to configure the devices properly and integrate them into your network and determine which devices would be in communication with each other. (They don’t all have to be connected, and for security and efficiency purposes, you may need to constrain the degree of access each device has to the rest of your network.) What kinds of data do you want these devices to collect, share, and process? You’ll need to monitor the devices for possible problems and manage the traffic flowing in and out of them. Each time you add a new device, you’re expanding your network, and you must stay on top of the changes. IT professionals can help you with all of this.
  2. Their security vulnerabilities. IoT devices have become infamous for their cyber security vulnerabilities. When they aren’t well-protected, they can easily get infiltrated, controlled, and infected with malware. Choosing high-quality devices is essential, along with understanding their vulnerabilities and taking all possible precautions before incorporating them into your network.

To give you an idea of why cyber security is critical: According to a recent study, roughly 40% of manufacturing companies suffered the effects of a cyber security incident sometime in the 12 previous months. For 38% of them, the losses exceeded $1 million.

  1. Their data. IoT devices can generate quite a bit of data, giving you new opportunities to increase the quality of your products and operate your manufacturing enterprise in a more cost-effective way. Any data you collect is useful only if you know what you’re doing with it and why. IT support personnel can help you find and implement the best solutions for organizing and analyzing data from multiple sources, including IoT devices.

Don’t hesitate to contact CompuData, a leading manufacturing IT support team, to further discuss these issues. IoT technologies continues to develop, with new devices emerging and existing devices undergoing refinement for greater power and complexity. Manufacturing IT support personnel can help you manage and monitor all the devices in your network, including the various Internet-enabled devices that can potentially provide numerous benefits to your manufacturing enterprise.